The Redskins will report to training camp on July 25. Over the next five weeks they will undergo the process of cutting their 90-man roster down to 53. Which players will get those coveted spots and which will join the ranks of the unemployed? Over the next couple of weeks well go through position by position and try to predict what decisions Mike Shanahan and company will make.So far weve covered the offense. Today well start breaking down the defense with the line.There are 11 defensive linemen on the roster, the Redskins will keep six.In: Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Barry Cofield, Chris NeildOut: Darrion Scott, Kentwan Balmer, Doug Worthington, Chris Baker, Delvin JohnsonChanges from 2011: Jenkins back from injured reserveBubble watch: If Balmer can be more than just an impressive physical specimen and actually play good football, he could push for Golstons spot.BreakdownThe big competition in training camp this year is unlikely to be for a roster spot but for a starting job. Cofield is set at nose tackle while Jenkins and Carriker will compete to see who starts at left end opposite Bowen. In any case, those four have roster spots locked up.Neild also is fairly safe as the backup nose tackle although he could be pushed by Baker. The Redskins have shown a preference to hang on to their own draft picks so that favors Neild. But if Baker clearly outplays Neild in camp and in the preseason, which is not out of the questions, Baker could be a surpise 2012 roster addition replacing Neild, who surprisingly survived the 2011 final cuts.The Redskins did resign Golston as a free agent contract but his one-year deal contains no guaranteed money so his spot on the roster is not secure. They brought Balmer in after Golston went on injured reserve midway through last season. He did not impress immediately, playing just 28 snaps in three games. But the coaches are intrigued by his potential and if the 25-year-old can revive his NL career (this is the former first-round picks fourth team in his fifth NFL season) he could push the 29-year-old Golston out.Scott was on the roster last year but the return of Jenkins likely leaves him without a spot. Worthington spent most of last year on the practice squad and could return there this year. Johnsons best hope is to land on the practice squad.
The Redskins had a tough, physical game against the Rams last Sunday and it shows on the team’s injury report. Five players are listed as questionable for the coming game against the Raiders at FedEx Field.
TE Jordan Reed (chest), RB Rob Kelley (ribs), ILB Mason Foster (shoulder), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), and CB Josh Norman (shoulder) are the players who are questionable.
Of those players, Reed was the only one to miss a practice this week. He was out on Wednesday and was back on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. The Pro Bowl tight end told reporters in the locker room that he will be in the lineup on Sunday.
There is particular concern about Kelley’s injury. He is likely to start as he usually does. But CSN is reporting that the team will have four running backs on the game day active list instead of the three they went with in Weeks 1 and 2. Mack Brown will dress for the Redskins after being inactive in both previous games.
MORE REDSKINS: A STRONG START FOR SMITH BUT MORE IS NEEDED
Thursday night's Rams-49ers game was surprisingly fun. It was also unofficially the Check Out All These Ex-Redskins Now Playing or Working in California Bowl.
Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, two former Washington offensive coordinators, are now in charge of the two teams. Old 'Skins like Aldrick Robinson, Derek Carrier and John Sullivan, meanwhile, were a part of the on-field action.
It was Pierre Garçon, though, who pushed Burgundy and Gold fans to take their phones out of their pocket and pen sad tweets. That's because the 31-year-old wideout caught seven Brian Hoyer passes (that's impressive on its own, by the way) for 142 yards vs. Los Angeles on Thursday Night Football.
And while his team lost 41-39, Garçon didn't deserve to with plays like this:
WOW. Pierre Garcon is absolutely BALLIN' tonight. pic.twitter.com/MELHd24W4O— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) September 22, 2017
Even with that standout performance, however, Redskins fans shouldn't be cursing the franchise for letting Garçon go. Not yet, anyway.
This past march, the veteran left D.C. after five seasons to sign with San Fran. His deal was a rich one: five years for $47.5 million ($17 million guaranteed at signing). The Niners can get out of it after two years, but it still is a sizable contract even with that potential exit.
That kind of money is the first thing those who miss Garçon should think about. Now, the Redskins didn't exactly handle their negotiations with him that smoothly, but in the end, unless he gave Washington a nice discount, he just would've cost a lot to keep.
Secondly, it's easy to slam the 'Skins for losing Garçon while Kirk Cousins and Co. have stalled through two games in 2017. But the reason that's happening thus far has more to do with Cousins' inaccuracy in Weeks 1 and 2 and an offensive line that's not at the level it should be than with that familiar No. 88 not lining up outside anymore.
Would Garçon have made a difference for the Redskins against the Eagles and Rams if he were still here? Yeah, probably. But when Jay Gruden's unit starts operating at its normal speed and precision — and it will — the upset voices lamenting Garçon's departure will get quieter.
This is nothing against the guy who was the NFL's 2013 receptions leader and who's well on his way to another productive campaign. It's just that it feels premature to make the connection that allowing him to move on is what's ailing the Washington offense, or that it was a disastrous decision.
Give Garçon's far cheaper replacements (Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson) more time. Wait for the quarterback and his linemen to sync up again. In a league with just 16 games, that's very hard to do, but let's see if those in the area long for Garçon in December as much as they are currently longing for him in September.